When Donald Trump was elected, I was shocked. I didn't turn on the news until late in the afternoon on that fateful day. I looked at the available returns and polls and knew: She will win the popular vote, but he will win the electoral college.
For the next two weeks, I cried every day. But I was also in denial. I told myself and my friends, It's going to be all right. Somehow it will be okay. We'll be fine.
Then I looked at the glass in my hand and realized it was half-empty. I accepted reality.
Now we've had a tragic clash in Charlottesville, with bad people on both sides, according to the president. But why did people who don't even live in Charlottesville gather there to hold their White Nationalist shindig? The side with the Tiki torches may have had a permit to gather, but they didn't have a permit to incite violence. With a group like that, however, a gathering amounts to inciting violence. That's what these good ole' boys are all about, and Charlottesville was not prepared to deal with their numbers.
As each day passes since that event, I haven't learned to feel calm and at peace about it. I haven't said, This too shall pass. I haven't let it go and moved on.
Rather, as I learn more about what occurred from people who were actually there, my anger grows. I'm beyond being able to say, Let's find something to laugh about.
Favorite Young Man and I watched quite a bit of news on Saturday and Sunday. He expressed surprise that such a thing would happen in Charlottesville, a liberal university town.
I told him that Charlottesville has long been a town divided (no doubt town officials disagree with me), and, thus, ripe for the picking by the KKK, Aryan Nation, alt-right––whatever they call themselves, "they" are those who come in hatred.
I went on to explain to Favorite Young Man that white descendants of Thomas Jefferson wouldn't consider allowing the black descendants of Thomas Jefferson to join their organization until the black descendants took DNA tests to prove their lineage, and even then the descendants of the Jefferson-Hemmings union were invited to attend the white descendants' meetings as guests, not as full-fledged members. This occurred in spite of the fact that historians began writing about the children of Jefferson and his slave, Sally Hemmings, in the 1970s. This occurred in spite of the long-known "open secret" in Charlottesville that if one saw a light-skinned black person with red hair, then that person was likely to be a Jefferson family member. This occurred in spite of the knowledge that Sally Hemmings and her siblings were of mixed race and were half-siblings to Jefferson's wife. Hemmings' children were of mostly European descent. But one drop of so-called black blood? They're not the real thing, apparently.
I doubt if the white descendants ever had to take DNA tests to prove their status.
This refusal to acknowledge ALL of Jefferson's direct descendants is an emblem of the division in Charlottesville, a town that is predominantly white. And Southern.
Sadly, my theory about the town has been confirmed by some articles I've read and by comments from citizens of Charlottesville. One African-American woman stated that the master in Monticello had been looking down on them in the town for far too long. That doesn't mean we should knock down Monticello and disavow Thomas Jefferson as one of the founders of our country, but it does mean we need to recognize his role in the misery that was slavery. It does mean we need to recognize his second family.
We can acknowledge the grief and the mistakes of slavery in museums. We do not need statues of Confederate leaders in parks and city centers. To ask "where will it stop?" and suggest that statues of George Washington will be pulled down next is to demonstrate one's ignorance. Yes, George Washington owned slaves, but he wasn't a traitor to his country who suggested that the Union of States be divided.
I also heard someone say on television that having a statue of Robert E. Lee certainly wasn't as bad as having a statue of Nathan Bedford Forrest. Aren't they all traitors to the Union?
Plus, until a few years ago, my own city had a Nathan Bedford Forrest High School. It took many years to remove the name of the man who founded the KKK. Now, let's change the names of all schools named after Confederate leaders. We don't need Jefferson Davis High School any more than we need Robert E. Lee High School. Let's name our schools after peacemakers and heroes, not losers.
Yes, I am one angry Junebug, and I don't picture myself getting over it anytime soon.
Infinities of love,
|public domain photo|
"Let us reject any among us who seek to reopen old wounds and to rekindle old hatreds. They stand in the way of a seeking nation. Let us now join reason to faith and action to experience, to transform our unity of interest into a unity of purpose. For the hour and the day and the time are here to achieve progress without strife, to achieve change without hatred—not without difference of opinion, but without the deep and abiding divisions which scar the union for generations."
I feel like I've been in a bad mood for too long, too. Can something GOOD happen, pleeeease?ReplyDelete
Good things still happen, but the bad feels so overwhelming.Delete
I am so sorry. From this side of the world I am watching in horror. And sadly, some of our own are being encouraged by the ugliness, the greed and the insanity in the White House. And, on a personal level I volunteer on a crisis line. One of our callers was being offensive and I called him on it. His response? 'If the President of the free world can say those things so can I.'ReplyDelete
It's tragic that people feel they can say anything because a loser who managed to get elected to the presidency says them.Delete
There is a lot that can be said about the current political and social status of the US, some of which you have rightly mentioned. How long will things deteriorate before finding a solution I wonder. Hang in there and warm greetings.ReplyDelete
How long must this situation continue?Delete
I don't really understand why we have statues of politicians at all. Why do we put any of these people on pedestals?ReplyDelete
I don't know. Germany doesn't put up statues of Hitler.Delete
I feel like I'm re-living the headlines from the 60s. The young people today don't know all that people my age have lived through in the past. They are experiencing it as something new, but boomers have been through this before. To now know we have gone so far backwards is very disturbing. To think that my daughter has to face this nightmare in 2017 has me losing sleep.ReplyDelete
Yes, I've been through this before. How can it happen again?Delete
I'm angry, but not really surprised at how Trump has reacted to Charlottesville. It all seems totally in keeping with his despicable personality. The GOP as a whole needs to grow a spine and denounce this man, but I don't see it happening anytime soon. We all need to get out and VOTE in the midterms.ReplyDelete
Voting is very important. Too many people don't bother.Delete
It's very sad that during a time when people's lives are most at threat by White Nationalist Terror attacks (they account for 75% of all deadly domestic terror incidents) that we would have a supposed leader dare to "spread blame" on "both sides." On one "side" you have people who have swastika tattoos who are killing counter protesters. Full stop. That's all you need to know. There is no such thing as the "alt-left." Occupy Wall Street, Black Lives Matter, even this made-up boogey man "Anti-Fa" (which stands for Anti-Fascist, it's important to keep that word in full) haven't killed anyone. White Nationalists are murderers (who root for two losing sides, Nazis and the Confederacy, so that's weird) who feel like they're somehow victims, and their delusions are only bolstered by the president. It's a sad, cynical time.ReplyDelete
Violence is the way these people deal with their own failings, insecurity, and self-hatred.Delete
Hi Janie - it's not easy - take care, and my politics is over here - cheers HilaryReplyDelete
It's too much.Delete
What a brilliant quote! And Johnson's inaugural address, when read in full, is such a stark contrast to 45's inaugural address. When people read these both in history books they're going to shake their heads and say "how could they be so far ahead in 1965 and so far behind in 2017?" Sad, sad, sad.ReplyDelete
I agree Janie, I'm in a bad mood too. I feel your pain. We are a wounded nation...and we need a leader who can heal us. Not this fool who's in there now. Surely the tides have started to turn after this, one would think...
Michele at Angels Bark
A man who at one time opposed integration, came from Texas, used the "N" word, and could be very cruel to the people most loyal to him somehow turned things around and said what many people did not want to hear. He was instrumental in passing landmark legislation. People who can be raised one way and live one way and then take on the wrongness of it all have my admiration.Delete
Racism is a deep-seated and ugly scourge that is so hard to eradicate. Those who try to do so are fighting the Good Fight.ReplyDelete
I don't know how to enter the fight in any way other than writing words and voting.Delete
I am also shocked and soul weary. :(ReplyDelete
Soul weary is a good way to put it.Delete
I don't blame you, Janie. These things put me in a bad mood, too. It's shocking and horrifying how much white nationalism has been surfacing in such drastic ways lately. Not that it ever stopped existing but lately it seems these bigots are emboldened. Racism is something we need to fight on a daily basis. I wish for a future where it won't exist anymore. Will we ever get there?ReplyDelete
I don't know if we'll get there. We took some leaps over the years, but now we're traveling backwards at a much faster rate.Delete
Janie, I get sorry at night, sometimes. But, we got into this fair and square, right there at the ballot box. The solution now is don't stop talking about all the problems, and make everyone pinkie swear to be at the polls in November.ReplyDelete
Voting is vital.Delete
It is exhausting and overwhelming (obviously in addition to sad and heartbreaking)--the glasses need to be half empty or full of wine at this point, as peanut m&m's cannot do this heavy lifting by themselvesReplyDelete
You are a wise woman, Andrea. Or did Foz tell you to say that?Delete
If I traveled, I might wear a sign that says I DID NOT VOTE FOR TRUMP, BUT I'M STUCK WITH HIM.ReplyDelete
I didn't think much of Johnson when he was president, but his star seems to be burning brighter these days.ReplyDelete
Vietnam overshadows the good he did.Delete
Very well said, Janie Junebug. The ugly past has been revived by a president who loves to stir things up, and who knows nothing about politics.ReplyDelete
Very well said to you, too.Delete
Your followers might be interested in this:ReplyDelete
It's worth reading.Delete
What happened in Charlottesville was disgusting and Trump's reaction to it was just as disgusting I get why you are in a bad mood over itReplyDelete
I appreciate your support, Jo-Anne.Delete
It's been a crazy less-than-a-year, hasn't it? It's like a roller coaster ride with no highs and where the seats have gone off the rails and where no one at the amusement park seems to care. I'm not all that thrilled about the man who would be taking over should Trump resign or be pushed out, either. His values and integrity are no better; he just hides them better. Everyone just has to try to do one's best in one's own neighbourhood, and like Joanne says, be sure to vote.ReplyDelete
I don't want Pence as president, either.Delete
Gosh that was a powerful speech, more people need to think that, not just in the USA but also in the UK. With Brexit and the referendum in Scotland, there is a lot of hurt (Scotland is my 2nd home and being married to a Scot I know the tide is turning and I think at the next vote they will vote to leave and be independent and embrace it with pride). All governments need to listen more to the people who have elected them. Keep their promises and help the people.ReplyDelete
A powerful post. Thank you for sharing.
Such a kind comment. Thank you.Delete
I was hugely disappointed in the direction the country chose to go last November, like depressed for weeks after, walking about in a state of shock. It felt (and still does) like the country chose hate. I'm embarrassed to be an American right now, even tho I did NOT vote for Trump. The only good thing is I am really paying attention now and reading an excellent book about justice called Just Mercy by Bryan Stevenson.ReplyDelete
I've been disappointed since November. I don't know when I'll get over it.Delete
It has been a brutal week. It's distressing knowing how hateful so many Americans are. However, it is heartening to see how many more are ready to stand up to them.ReplyDelete
Trump's gotta go.
But if he goes, then we have Pence.Delete
Well said, Janie.ReplyDelete
The division just continues to widen.
We're traveling backwards.Delete
"Yes, George Washington owned slaves, but he wasn't a traitor to his country who suggested that the Union of States be divided."ReplyDelete
In a nutshell.
Far too many people do not realize that, even though he may have otherwise been an honorable man, Robert E. Lee committed treason against his country.
I grieve and am a little fearful for my children.
Thank you, Penwusser.Delete
I'm an American by choice and the reason I love this country so much is because of its vibrant mixture of people of all races and ethnicities. I loved Los Angeles for that reason and I miss it a lot, living here in the canyon. Those who marched with torches looked very weak to me, weak as Trump.ReplyDelete
That sort has to get together in a big group with weapons in order to feel important and superior.Delete
You aren't alone in your feelings. I think a lot of us think just as you do. I still find it hard to believe this country elected a man like that. Let's hope enough people are revolted by the way things have gone to help us swing the pendulum in the other direction.ReplyDelete
Let that pendulum swing, Susan.Delete
An excellent and heartfelt post, JJ. The Charlottesville situation was chilling and the presidential responses that followed were pitiful and disgusting.ReplyDelete
I was born in 1950, so I grew up in a time greatly influenced by WW II. Among my extended family and friends there were members who had been killed, injured, or POWs under the Nazis, so the sight of Nazis marching in our streets was horrifying.
Since I grew up in Canada, I didn't experience the same kind of racial conflicts that have occurred in the US. Many blacks came to Nova Scotia to escape slavery and discrimination. Unfortunately they did endure prejudice, but nothing like black experienced in the USA. We still have a long way to go to heal the wounds.
We have to speak out against hate groups and racism. Evil builds incrementally, and it strengthens when people don't speak out against it.
Thank you for your post, JJ.